As Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman noted yesterday, new findings published by the DoJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics show that violent crime, including “gun crime,” has experienced a sustained and dramatic decline between the years of 1993 and 2011 (the time period over which the study was conducted). A Pew Research Center analysis, also just released, came to very similar conclusions.
Even the generally reliably anti-gun Los Angeles Times could not help but notice this development:
In less than two decades, the gun murder rate has been nearly cut in half. Other gun crimes fell even more sharply, paralleling a broader drop in violent crimes committed with or without guns. Violent crime dropped steeply during the 1990s and has fallen less dramatically since the turn of the millennium.
The Associated Press notes some raw numbers:
A study released Tuesday by the government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics found that gun-related homicides dropped from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011. That’s a 39 percent reduction.
Since the population has been steadily rising over that span, the per capita decrease is even more dramatic.
This, remember, is in the context of soaring gun sales figures over the past several years, with the vast increase very heavily driven by demand for so-called “assault weapons,” and handguns designed to accommodate so-called “high capacity” (11 or more rounds) magazines–the very guns we are told are most urgently in need of banning. That means that the “per capita” rate per gun, and especially per “assault weapon,” has fallen still more precipitously.
Some of the details of the BJS study are perhaps even more startling, at least to those who have been taken in by the gun prohibitionists’ propaganda. The study found, for example, that sales at gun shows account for less than two percent of “crime guns.” Enough to make one wonder about the bizarre focus on the mythical “gun show loophole” that so concern the cheerleaders for the defeated Manchin-Toomey private gun sales ban legislation, isn’t it?
The study also found that “2% of state inmates and 3% of federal inmates were armed with a military-style semiautomatic or fully automatic firearm” (“military-style semiautomatic,” remember, is how gun prohibitionists refer to so-called “assault weapons,” when that fabricated term is judged not to be scary enough to an uninformed public). Since those figures include fully-automatic firearms–not covered by any “assault weapons” bans (although gun banners would prefer that the public be kept ignorant of the difference), the stats for guns covered in any proposed “assault weapon” ban are even lower.
Finally, the Pew Research Center analysis reported that despite this sustained, dramatic, and continuing decline in violent crime, their survey found that the American public believes that “gun crime” has been increasing. This indicates that public support for “gun control” measures is based in large part on public ignorance.
St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner tends not to focus much on statistics. As noted before, and to (very briefly paraphrase a passage in Jeff Snyder’s superb A Nation of Cowards), an individual’s fundamental human right to effective means of self-defense is in no way contingent on the behavior of others. Statistics, in other words, are beside the point.
Still, though, let’s think about this. If “gun crime” has been falling dramatically for decades, and the “gun control” advocates are still shrieking for fundamental changes in gun laws, what is their objective? It can’t be “gun violence prevention,” or they would be demanding more of what we have been doing with such favorable results since the mid-’90s: dropping “assault weapon” and “high capacity” magazine bans, more “shall issue” concealed carry (or, indeed, more Constitutional carry), more “stand your ground” laws, etc.
Since they are instead advocating exactly the opposite, whose side are they on? Perhaps the side that benefits from higher “gun crime” numbers?
Update: Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman has more, in “Liberal media spin on gun crime studies cranks up.”
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- Liberal media spin on gun crime studies cranks up